Can Mothers with Breast Diabetes?

Breastfeeding is the best first step to meet baby's nutritional needs. Health experts have agreed that breast milk is a liquid with the most complete nutrient content for babies. But what if the mother with diabetes wants to breastfeed?
Each mother is encouraged to exclusively breastfeed for six months and then continue for up to two years. However, there are some conditions that make women reluctant to breastfeed. One of them is when the mother has diabetes.

Many mothers with diabetes are still doubtful whether she should breastfeed or not. The good news is that mothers with diabetes can still breastfeed.

There are several types of diabetes, namely type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes.
  • Type 1 diabetes is caused by insulin deficiency due to the destruction of pancreatic cells that produce insulin. This type is most common in children or young adults.
  • Type 2 diabetes is part of the body's metabolic disease, where the resulting insulin can not be utilized for the metabolism of blood sugar.
  • Gestational diabetes is a newly diagnosed diabetes at 20 weeks of gestation. Generally will improve after childbirth.
All three types can occur in pregnant and lactating women, but type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes are the most common type.

Benefits of breastfeeding for mothers with diabetes

Regardless of the type of diabetes experienced, breastfeeding brings many benefits for mothers with diabetes, including:
  • Helps lose weight after childbirth, so the risk of obesity and other metabolic diseases including diabetes is reduced.
  • Makes the mother's body use insulin more effectively, so the sugar content is relatively more stable. For mothers with gestational diabetes , blood sugar levels may return to normal more quickly if the mother is breastfeeding.
  • Reduce maternal need for insulin therapy.
  • Reduce the risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancer in the future.
  • The hormone oxytocin released during breastfeeding will make the mother feel more comfortable and happy.
That fact has been supported by scientific studies showing that breastfeeding has a positive long-term impact on mothers and babies. For babies, as well as a source of nutrition, breast milk can also reduce the risk of being overweight (obese) and diabetes mellitus when he was an adult.

Tips for successful breastfeeding for mothers with diabetes

Admittedly the first days of postpartum will be more challenging for mothers with diabetes. The reason, there are some risks that can occur, namely hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels) in infants, while mother's milk is still little or even not out at all.

It often makes mothers despair and finally gives up. The following tips can help mothers with diabetes in order to successfully breastfeed:

● Pre-natal consultation

Entering the third trimester, do more intense consultation with your obstetrician about diabetes and your desire to breastfeed the baby, including diabetes treatment after childbirth, diet, and so on.

● Colon cancer before delivery

Colostrum is breast milk that is produced in the first few days after delivery, but actually has been formed since the third trimester. Some lactation consultants may advise you to start milking colostrum by the time of delivery to be given to the baby after birth. This is to anticipate when a baby's hypoglycemia or mother needs time for recovery.

But the important thing to remember is do not milk your own colostrum without the assistance of a doctor or medical personnel. This activity should be done at health facilities.

● Eat each will breastfeed

Breastfeeding will consume energy and increase the likelihood of hypoglycemia in the mother. Eat a diet high in fiber, protein, and carbohydrates before breastfeeding. Prepare a healthy snack within your reach.

● Enough fluid

After breastfeeding, most mothers will feel thirsty. Make sure the fluid needs are always met at least 3-4 liters per day.

● Check the regular blood sugar levels

Regularly check blood sugar levels, especially when you feel weak, dizzy, and blurry.

Diabetes is not a mother inhibitor for breastfeeding. If you pay attention to some of the above, the mother with diabetes also can successfully give milk for her baby.

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